Area Schools Rethink Safety Measures after Newtown Shooting Massacre

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Even those school districts with plans in place may be re-thinking those plans after what happened in Connecticut.

It is a unthinkable outcome that can happen anywhere.

“At the very least it will raise your awareness,” said Navasota Police Chief Shawn Myatt. “It’s such a tragedy.”

The safety of students and staff has taken on new meaning after the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut; and local school districts and law enforcement personnel are taking safety measures to a whole new level.

“Some agencies are even adding law enforcement officers for the time being,” said Myatt.

In an effort to ensure their students' safety and calm parents' nerves, school districts across the Brazos Valley have asked police departments to increase patrols and some have even sent messages to parents outlining safety plans and precautions.

“From a law enforcement standpoint and from me personally being there, you don't know how it's going to play out,” said Myatt. “That’s why it’s so important to always practice those measures because you don’t know what’s going on in the minds of other people.”

Every district in Texas is required to submit a safety audit; and if the district fails to do so it receives a red-flag from the state.

Attorney General Greg Abbott said Monday the districts "can't let another second tick" without having a safety plan to deal with the possibility of school violence like the carnage in Connecticut.

The Texas School Safety Center was created in 1999 in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings in Colorado. The state education code requires public schools conduct safety audits once every three years.

Abbott's office says 38 of the state's 1,025 public school districts have filed no audit. Another 40 reported but are not in compliance.

Centerville ISD was listed on the report as non-compliant. News 3 reached out to the district, but our phone calls were not returned.

“We would like to be extremely prepared and we'd like to deter everything but even the best laid out plans don't go according to plan, especially when humans are involved,” Myatt added.

The tragic outcome has become a turning point of action and a reminder that anything is possible even when safety measures are in place.

“You shouldn’t live in fear, but you should always practice safety and precaution,” said Myatt. “Again, you can’t predict the actions of other people, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared.”

We spoke to management at an area gun store who says sales on guns and ammunition surged over the weekend. In fact, the weekend sales equated to the total amount the store typically averages in one week.

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